Salmon's Opponent, Weickert, Speaks on Tainted Victory

By Jake Rossen Sep 9, 2009
Lost in the noise of reaction to Sean Salmon’s MMAJunkie.com essay last week -- one in which the fighter claimed he deliberately “put [an] arm back in” the grip of Allan Weickert to escape without injury in a June 6 bout -- is the man who may be more affected by the admission than anyone: Weickert himself.

The Ohio native has become a peripheral character in Salmon’s current melodrama, which includes the Ohio State Athletic Commission calling for a hearing on the matter October 14 and the New Jersey Commission forbidding Salmon from his planned competition in the state on September 11. (His replacement? Weickert himself.)

Weickert spoke to Sherdog/ESPN.com Monday afternoon about a victory that will forever be attached to an asterisk.

Sherdog: What was your reaction to Salmon’s essay?
Weickert: Mixed. I didn’t know how to take it. How he said he threw the fight -- come on, man. If you give up, you give up. What do you mean, throwing the fight? Reword it a little bit. And about pulling his arm out then pulling it back in, no, [he] didn’t do that. He wanted out. He didn’t want to fight me any longer. I was prepared, he wasn’t. He knew that. He knew it was going to get worse later on in the fight.

Sherdog: That’s really where most people take serious issue with Salmon’s statement: that he got out of your armbar attempt, then “put it back in” so he could end the fight. Did you see that?
Weickert: I had the armbar in, but I knew I didn’t have it. My legs were wide open. I didn’t have my knees pinched. He repositioned his body. It sunk it in a little bit deeper. But my legs were still wide. I started hitting him with some strikes and then my corner said, “Just go for it.” So I started arching. I was getting ready to let go and reposition and just get to my feet and go from there. But I went for it and he tapped. I was getting ready to let go and I saw his hand come up and I was like, “You have to be kidding me.”

Sherdog: To be clear: the idea that he purposely positioned his arm for you to grab again -- that didn’t happen?
Weickert: I didn’t see that at all. I had the arm the whole time. His body movement may have moved it. From what I was doing, he had to move that way or else he would’ve ended up falling over. I think he wanted out.

Sherdog: As an athlete, do you think a fighter quitting because he mentally wants out, not because he’s physically injured, is a valid way of winning or losing?
Weickert: To me, no. I know a couple of the fighters I’ve trained with and they’ve done that. But I compete, and you have to beat me. If I’m not prepared, I’m still going to go give it my all, my best, every time I do something. You’ve either got to beat me or knock me out. I understand what he’s saying, but he didn’t have to say what he had to say.

Sherdog: He wanted out, and some people equate it with “throwing” a fight. Do you see it that way? Do you think he “allowed” you to win, or do you think giving up psychologically just happens in this sport?
Weickert: I think it’s something that happens in the sport. I wouldn’t consider throwing it because he didn’t get gain anything else by giving up. Throwing would be betting on yourself to lose. He lost his win purse and his belt. I just wish he would have worded it a bit differently and then we both could have moved on.

Sherdog: Does it taint the win for you?
Weickert: It feels like it means nothing now. It means nothing.

Sherdog: What do you think should happen to him?
Weickert: It doesn’t matter to me. It stinks that he said what he said. I’d hate to see him never fight again. I hope he’s smart about it and does what he’s gotta do.

Sherdog: And if you could use one word to describe Salmon?
Weickert: I think that would be “coward.”

Addendum: MMAJunkie.com columnist Dann Stupp authored an editorial for the Springfield News Sun offering an alternative perspective on the controversy; September 11, the date Salmon will be replaced by Weickert during a Ring of Combat card in New Jersey, is Salmon’s birthday.
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